I used to self-harm. For the past two years I’ve managed to beat that urge. I instead traded my self-injurious behavior for sitting in the corner of room, clinging for dear life to a teddy bear, hugging my knees up to my chest while I rocked back and forth and sobbed until the intensity of my episode subsided enough that I could get up and function without being afraid of what I might do.
In some ways it felt like a hideous trade. Why put myself through that suffering when I knew I could cause some physical pain and know for sure that it would give me the release I needed? Then as soon as I was done, it would all be over and I could move on with life. Not giving into the urge to self-harm brought my emotions to a higher intensity level because I couldn’t break them with a blade, or my fist, or whatever else I used in the moment. Rather, they heightened and heightened and tortured me until THEY decided they were done with me until later.
Last night, I gave in. I have been feeling worse lately due to some new changes in my life. The changes are good ones, but ones that are very big triggers for me. It’s extremely discouraging when you start to believe that you may be getting better, and then realize that you certainly are not. It’s even worse when the thing that triggers you is, allowing someone to love you.
So all day today I keep seeing the traces of yesterday on my wrist; red, slightly inflamed, overlapping and parallel straight lines that remind me of last night. How awful I felt. How defeated I felt. How crazy. But sometimes those minor cuts save me from something worse, and they tell a story. They tell my story. And my story is just that: mine.